The Best Shoe Stores in London, UK

Photo of Mandi Keighran
14 May 2021

There’s no shortage of shoe stores in London. Whether you’re into cult sneakers popular with A-list musicians or seek to invest in some high-end heritage footwear, you’ll find what you’re after in the British capital. We’ve rounded up the best shoe stores across the city to help make sure your shopping experience is a successful one.

Mr Sneaker

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Fancy yourself a sneaker-head? Mr Sneaker is one of the best places to pick up the most coveted, rarest kicks around. It started life back in 1984 as Meteor Sport and has since built up an extensive network of trusted sellers from around the globe, with thousands of new shoes arriving each week, including limited editions, samples, and “friends and family” designs that were never even offered for sale to the public. Check out the cool store in Bethnal Green in London’s east end, or browse the extensive collection online.

Emmy London

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Looking for the perfect pair of shoes for a special occasion? Emmy London was founded by shoe designer Emmy Scarterfield 15 years ago with a mission to create the very best bespoke bridal shoes with a focus on silhouette, comfort and balance. Today, Emmy London has expanded its scope to include ‘off-the-shelf’ designs – including a collection of wide-fit bridal and court shoes – but the made-to-order approach remains at the heart of the brand. There is also a range of ornate shoe clips that can be attached to the front of a shoe to transform it into something truly special, and matching clutch bags to complete the look.

The Little Shoe Shop

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This shoe shop, on York Street in Central London, specialises in shoes for petite feet. For more than 40 years, owner Ray Martine has been travelling around Europe on a mission to source the very best small-size ladies’ shoes from Italy, Spain, Portugal and Poland. The extensive collection covers everything from stylish block-heel sandals and elegant heels to winter boots, casual trainers and even a range of leather-free shoes. Not based in the UK but like the look of what you see? The shop also offers worldwide shipping.

Irregular Choice

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Back in 1999, Dan Sullivan decided to create a shoe brand that would stand out from the crowd. Irregular Choice, which now has stores in London’s famous Carnaby Street, Brighton and Manchester, takes inspiration from Asian street style and Dan’s travels – think psychedelic colours, plenty of velvet bows, an overload of glittering embellishments, clashing patterns, and even quirky bridal shoes adorned with lace and flowers. There’s also a fun range for kids featuring Disney characters and Care Bears, and an eclectic collection of accessories that’s just as weird and wonderful as the shoes.

ASH

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Looking for shoes that tap into the latest trends? A-list fashion influencers Gigi Hadid, Kendall Jenner, Selena Gomez, Lady Gaga, Iggy Azalea and Madonna are all fans of London-based footwear brand ASH. Founded in 2000 by French shoe designer Patrick Ithier and Italian entrepreneur Leonello Calvani, the brand combines craftsmanship with innovation and is known for taking trends and giving them a unique twist – this season’s collection is all about embellished cowboy boots and animal print. Since launching, the brand has expanded to include men’s shoes and bags.

Grenson

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For more than 150 years, this British footwear brand has been creating men’s shoes with an exquisite level of craftsmanship and attention to detail – and ten years ago the brand expanded its collection to include women’s shoes. Each pair takes up to eight weeks to produce by hand in the factory and involves more than 200 individual production steps. More recent launches include a signature fragrance called Grenson 66, a watch collection and a range of handcrafted dog accessories. Explore the collection in one of the six Grenson stores, as well as iconic London department stores Harrods, Selfridges and Liberty.

Camper

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Spain has a rich shoemaking heritage, so it’s no surprise that this idiosyncratic footwear brand, which has a focus on craftsmanship and innovative concepts, was founded on the island of Mallorca. Since 1975, Camper has crafted imaginative shoes that blur the line between high fashion, sportswear and smart casual style, but it’s not just about the shoes: the brand now has more than 400 stores around the world, each with its own personality. The Camper Together stores are designed in collaboration with some of the world’s leading architects and designers, while the CamperLab stores stock unique designs that are only available at that specific location – if you’re in London, check out CamperLab in the hip Shoreditch neighbourhood.

Birkenstock

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This renowned German footwear label defies the fast-moving world of fashion trends, with its now-iconic anatomically shaped footbed crafted from jute, natural cork and latex. The company can trace its origins back to 1774 and today is one of the top five global footwear brands with 36 stores around the world. There are two stores in London – one in the famous Carnaby Street, and another in the Seven Dials shopping district in Covent Garden – both of which reflect the brand’s clean-cut, minimalist aesthetic with timber shelves and angular white plinths.

SWEAR

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This cult UK shoe brand has been creating sneakers with nineties rave vibes for almost 25 years – think super chunky soles, sculptural uppers and bright colours. The focus is on sustainability just as much as design, and each pair of shoes is made-to-order to allow the company to reach its ambitious environmental goals. This approach also means that the Crosby Knit and Air Revive designs are customisable, so you can choose the colour of the soles and zips to express your individual style. The brand previously had a flagship store on the iconic Carnaby Street, but is now sold exclusively online.

Church’s

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This British brand boasts an impressive heritage. It was founded in Northampton in 1873 by Thomas Church and was one of the first brands to introduce the revolutionary concept of ‘left’ and ‘right’ shoes. In 1999, the brand was acquired by the Prada Group and contemporary seasonal collections were introduced alongside the more traditional styles. The brand also releases exciting limited-edition collections – the second is a collaboration with Japanese designer Noir Kei Ninomiya, which blends traditional English style with the Japanese avant-garde. Head to the New Bond Street store to discover the brand’s beautifully crafted women’s collection.

French Sole

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Fan of the ballerina aesthetic? Get the look at French Sole. Beautifully made classic ballet pumps are what French Sole do best, and their collections span myriad patterns, colourways and designs. Their largest London branch is on the King’s Road in Chelsea, and it’s where you’ll find the newest additions before they’re shipped to smaller locations across the city.

Dr. Martens

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This three-storey Oxford Street store is part shoe shop, part museum of vintage memorabilia, and it celebrates Dr. Martens’ connection with music throughout the decades. Shop at Dr. Martens, which started as a modest workwear boot, if you’re seeking pure leather and vegan leather-based shoes with chunky rubber soles.

Galeria Melissa

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Brazilian footwear brand Melissa launched in 1979 with a unique vision to create stylish footwear using specially developed material called Melflex®, made of recyclable PVC with a glossy finish. Whether or not you invest in a pair, the European flagship store in Covent Garden is worth a visit. It’s decked out with bright LED lighting and installations, which gives the space a futuristic feel that’s far removed from most traditional shoe shops.

Spice London

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This family-run shoe store, on Regent’s Park Road, is arguably among the most prestigious independent footwear boutiques in London. Its interior is bright, airy and minimalistic, keeping the focus firmly on the products. They stock a unique multi-brand mix of shoes, bags and ready-to-wear clothing from the likes of Castaner and Superga.

Sarah Leigh Bannerman contributed additional reporting to this article.

These recommendations were updated on May 14, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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